Right to Die Law Killed by Judge

Ceria Alfonso
May 16, 2018

A total of seven states - California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington - as well as the District of Columbia have laws on the books legalizing medical aid in dying for terminally ill patients, terminology preferred by advocates to the phrase "physician-assisted suicide."Supporters seek to widen legalization of the practice so that patients with incurable diseases can die with less pain and suffering".

Ottolia kept the law in place and gave the state attorney general five days to appeal.

Governor Brown signed the bill into law in 2016, making it legal for doctors and physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who want to end their lives.

"We strongly disagree with this ruling and the State is seeking expedited review in the Court of Appeal".

Judge Ottolia agreed, finding that the End of Life Option Act "is not a matter of health care funding", and is not related to the stated objective of the special session.

A California judge on Tuesday overturned the state's physician-assisted suicide statute, ruling that lawmakers did not have the authority to pass it during a special session convened to take up healthcare legislation.

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Life Legal filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings in March 2018, arguing that the law should be overturned because the manner in which it was passed is unconstitutional.

The judge indicated the legislature improperly passed the state law during a special session that was supposed to be specifically devoted to Medicare funding.

In a statement, Life Legal Defense Foundation executive director Alexandra Snyder said, "We are thrilled by today's ruling, which reinstates critical legal protections for vulnerable patients".

A spokesman for Compassion & Choices, which describes itself as the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and expanding end-of-life options, said the decision was a blow to California's terminally ill.

The plaintiffs are also represented by Los Angeles-based law firm Larson O'Brien.

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